SaskEnergy rates are going down, but the government has opted to push back the decrease to help the provider pay off a debt left over from the cold winter of 2013-14.
The government of Saskatchewan approved the decrease, which will see customers paying $4.42 less per month – a total savings of $53 per year – effective Jan. 1, 2016.
When the Rate Review Panel gave its approval on the rates, it was set to come into effect on Nov. 1. A news release from the government explains that the date was pushed back to help SaskEnergy pay off the outstanding balance in the Gas Cost Variance Account (GCVA).
The GCVA tracks the difference between what SaskEnergy pays to purchase natural gas, and the rates charged to its customers. The winter of 2013-14 saw a $34 million deficit. SaskEnergy initially anticipated the balance of the deficit to be at $5 million by Nov. 1; the release indicates, however, it will still be $11 million.